During the advance of the 25th Brigade to recapture Kokoda, on 6 October 1942, the 2/33rd Battalion reached the southern edge of Efogi Ridge.
Here the 3rd Battalion AMF, passed through to prepare a dropping ground near Efogi Mission.
Station 10 – Securing the Myola medical bases
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During the advance of the 25th Brigade to recapture Kokoda, on 6 October 1942, the 2/33rd Battalion reached the southern edge of Efogi Ridge. Here the 3rd Battalion AMF, passed through to prepare a dropping ground near Efogi Mission. On the same date the 2/25th Battalion was at the junction of Kagi-Myola tracks and the 2/31st Battalion was at Nauro. On 7-8 October, 2/33rd Battalion buried 99 dead from the 21st Brigade killed a month earlier on Mission Ridge and Brigade Hill. On 9 October the battalion moved forward to reconnoitre Myola and on 10 October bivouacked at No. 1 Myola dry lake where the 3rd Battalion prepared another dropping ground. In mid afternoon a 2/33rd Battalion platoon patrol moved out and by dark reported they had encountered strong opposition on a razorback ridge at the crest of the track.
On 11 October, the 2/33rd Battalion was ordered to capture Templeton’s Crossing several hours ahead and below the ridge. Then began a battle against a Japanese force of battalion strength which had dug in to a depth of 1800 metres, carefully siting many small weapon pits reinforced with heavy logs. Not all pits were occupied so that machine gunners could manoeuver to cover attacks from any direction. At a height of 2,300 metres it was very cold with incessant fog and dim light, because of the dense overhead canopy, thus prohibiting attack before mid-morning. There was little sleep throughout the action because of foul weather and the close proximity of the enemy. Scrambling on hands and knees up the precipitous slopes and along the ridge, attack after attack by companies was repulsed because of the enemy’s vast territorial advantage, but gradually during bitter fighting the battalion, with great tenacity, gained the hard yards until by early on 15 October the ridge had been cleared.
This action was extremely important because it secured the large Myola dry lakes which were urgently needed for the dropping of supplies and establishing medical bases. The Japanese knew that whoever held the ridge controlled the dry lakes and this explains their strong defence of the position.
During the attack, 100 Japanese were killed and a significant but unknown number wounded. Losses of the 2/33rd Battalion were 21 killed and 48 wounded. As a result of this action the battalion was awarded a number of decorations.
April 1944: After a 1,524 meter (5,000 feet) climb in the Finisterre Range, the troops found mud just as deep as in the lower slopes. This was similar terrain to Myola Ridge. These troops are on the final stage of the climb. (AWM 016983)
October 1942. N157031 Lieutenant C.G.D. Butler (left) and two other members of the party of the 2/14th Infantry Battalion which were cut off from the main body of troops near Myola during the withdrawal across the Owen Stanley Ranges. In the final stages of the withdrawal in August the party used rafts built by friendly natives to move down the Kemp-Welch river to safety after being in the jungle 42 days. (AWM 069242)
Salvation Army officers and local carriers set out for Myola with supplies. This print was from an album compiled by Chaplain Albert E. Moore of the Salvation Army. The supplies provided by this organisation proved to be invaluable to the Australian troops, who welcomed the site of 'The Salvos' as they advanced along the Track. (AWM P00525.059.001)
War correspondent Tom Fairhall of the Sydney 'Telegraph' newspaper. Beside him is a Japanese water bottle, while in the background are his spacious sleeping quarters, Kokoda Track-style. War correspondents faced the same privations as the troops as they recorded details for their newspaper readers back in Australia who were eager to know of details about their loved ones fighting in New Guinea. (AWM 013604)
An American Douglas C47 transport plane dropping food supplies in a cleared space near Nauro village. Wherever open space in the thick mountainous terrain was located, aircraft were the only option to drop supplies to troops, although in some instances the supplies broke on impact with the ground or were lost in impenetrable jungle. (AWM 027019)
Pack-horses and mules were used extensively in the campaign for the transport of supplies to forward positions, by both Australian and Japanese troops. Here members of an Independent Light Horse unit are preparing to move forward with a load of emergency rations. Note the traditional plume associated with the famous High Horse in the soldier's hat on the right. (AWM 013395)